Use of community payback orders is monitored in a variety of ways, including through national criminal justice social work and reconviction statistics. We know that CPOs can be more effective than prison at addressing the causes of offending, while also delivering benefits to communities, and our justice vision includes a continued focus on shifting the balance towards justice in the community.
The reconviction rate for offenders who are given CPOs is consistently lower than for those who are given short custodial sentences. In 2018-19, the reconviction rate for offenders who had been given CPOs was 29.2 per cent, compared with 51.7 per cent for those who had been given custodial sentences of one year or less.
I assure the member that further steps are being taken to shift the balance towards a greater use of community-based disposals. A delivery plan to support implementation of the revised national community justice strategy is being developed with partner organisations; its publication will drive actions at national and local levels. In addition, we introduced the Bail and Release from Custody (Scotland) Bill to Parliament in June. We are supporting effective use of new powers to electronically monitor the use of bail. We are continuing to invest in community justice services within the parameters that were set out in the resource spending review. That includes sustaining additional investment of £15 million in justice social work services this year. Of course, public protection remains paramount as we work to reduce reoffending and assist with rehabilitation, which leads to fewer victims and safer communities.